Les enfants des autres
Rebecca Zlotowski, France, 2022o
Forty-year-old teacher Rachel is in the middle of life when she falls in love with Ali, a divorcee who is a tender father to his four-year-old daughter. Rachel also grows fond of the girl as her relationship with Ali intensifies. At the same time, her doctor admonishes her that her chances of having a child of her own are dwindling. Is it enough for her to remain a stepmother? And how does Ali feel about his ex-wife, who remains the only real mother for his daughter?
An unexpected trouvaille is this life-smart film by Rebecca Zlotowski, a screenwriter by training who has worked her way into the heart of French cinema in ten pervasive years. Born in 1980, the director is the same age as her protagonist; she pieces together her story of a woman with a family that is not her own from countless vignettes about her heroine's moments of happiness and small stabs at the heart: There the seasoned teacher of difficult teenagers, there her new partner with her own history, child and ex-wife (Chiara Mastroianni), finally the question of her own motherhood and belonging. The casting of the lead role with the 45-year-old Belgian Virginie Efira, who has long been one of the fixed stars of francophone cinema with her portrayal of torn, sometimes comical characters, is particularly fitting. On a par with her, the proven character actor Roschdy Zem plays the man between his old and his new family. The engaging thing is that all the characters have greatness, no one is demonized, yet the constellation takes its toll on everyone. One can be divided about the abrupt final twist, but until then every woman and every man with some experience of life should see themselves reflected in this love film to some extent.Andreas Furler
L’élégance, la fluidité sans chichis de la mise en scène de Rebecca Zlotowski, et la combinaison d’un classicisme formel avec un regard contemporain, font tout le sel de cet opus pour le grand écran. Son plus beau à ce jour.Olivier Pélisson
Un magnifique et rayonnant portrait de femme auquel Virginie Efira prête sa fraîcheur et sa simplicité.Céline Rouden
Un sujet rarement abordé au cinéma, traité avec une justesse lumineuse par Rebecca Zlotowski.Jacques Morice